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The definitive, dramatic untold story of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, based on original reporting and new archival research.
Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers not only its own citizens, but all of humanity. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute.
Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful non-fiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.
Midnight In Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will--lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats—remain not just vital but necessary.
Ask any football fan who's better, Ronaldo or Messi and they'll have an opinion.
Football is a team game. It's virtually unheard of to have the sort of focused, one on one rivalries that dominate individual sports. But for the best part of the last decade football has seen a personal rivalry unlike any seen before. Cristiano and Leo. This is their definitive story, from children kicking a ball halfway around the world from each other to their era-defining rivalry.
One the preening adonis, a precision physical machine who blows teams away with his pace and power. The other a shuffling genius, able to do things with a football that seem other-worldly. Their differences seem to tap into something fundamental about football and indeed life.
Between them they have scored over a thousand goals, won the Ballon d'Or nine times and redefined modern football. For the past eight seasons they have shared the accolade of best footballer in the world and arguments rage over which one deserves the title of greatest player of all time. Cristiano and Leo by journalist and author Jimmy Burns is the essential book to understand the defining players of a generation.
Internationally-renowned historian Hermann Giliomee has himself been intimately involved in the unfolding drama of South Africa’s history, as participant at the Dakar talks with the ANC, as outspoken commentator for the English press, and as leading thinker on the Afrikaners. Giliomee’s lucidity and original insights make this more than just his own story. It is also a gripping narrative, filled with anecdotes and revealing inner workings of the Afrikaner establishment.
A former FBI Special Agent, U.S. Army officer and leading cyber-security expert offers a devastating and essential look at the misinformation campaigns, fake news, and electronic espionage operations that have become the cutting edge of modern warfare—and how we can protect ourselves and our country against them.
Clint Watts electrified the nation when he testified in front of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. In Messing with the Enemy, the counterterrorism, cybersecurity and homeland security expert introduces us to a frightening world in which terrorists and cyber criminals don’t hack your computer, they hack your mind. Watts reveals how these malefactors use your social media information and that of your family, friends and colleagues to map your social networks, identify your vulnerabilities, master your fears and harness your preferences.
Thanks to the schemes engineered by social media manipulators using you and your information, business executives have coughed up millions in fraudulent wire transfers, seemingly good kids have joined the Islamic State, and staunch anti-communist Reagan Republicans have cheered the Russian government’s hacking of a Democratic presidential candidate’s e-mails. Watts knows how they do it because he’s mirrored their methods to understand their intentions, combat their actions, and coopt their efforts.
Watts examines a range of social media platforms—from the first Internet forums to the current titans of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn—and nefarious actors—from al Qaeda to the Islamic State to the Russian social media troll farm—to illuminate exactly how they use Western social media for their nefarious purposes. He explains how he’s learned, through his successes and his failures, to engage with hackers, terrorists, and even the Russians—and how these interactions have generated methods for fighting back against those that seek to harm people on the Internet. He concludes with a snapshot of how advances in artificial intelligence will make future influence even more effective and dangerous to social media users and democratic governments worldwide. Shocking, funny, and eye-opening, Messing with the Enemy is a deeply urgent guide for living safe and smart in a super-connected world.
The infamous Seriti Commission into the arms deal. The Glenister case following the disbanding of the Scorpions. Busting open the bread manufacturers’ cartel.
High drama; high stakes brought to South Africa courtesy of the Accountability Now NGO, and its founder Paul Hoffman.
Join him in his journey from jaded silk to corruption buster – a fly-on-the-wall account of courtroom battles, influential personalities, secrets and lies in the battle to speak truth to power.
South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 heralded the end of more than forty years of apartheid. The Government of National Unity started the process of bringing together this deeply divided society principally through the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
However, interest in – and responsibility for - the reconciliation project first embodied through the TRC appears to have diminished over more than two decades of democracy. The narrow mandate of the Commission itself has been retrospectively criticised, and at face value it would seem that deep divisions persist: the chasm between rich and poor gapes wider than ever before; the public is polarised over questions of restitution and memorialisation; and incidents of racialised violence and hate speech continue.
This edited volume uses a decade of public opinion survey data to answer these key questions about the extent of progress in South African reconciliation. Leading social scientists analyse longitudinal data derived from the South African Reconciliation Barometer Survey (SARB) – conducted annually by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation since 2003 as well as interrogate and reach critical conclusions on the state of reconciliation, including in the areas of economic transformation, race relations and social contact, political participation, national identity formation and transitional justice. Their findings both confirm and disrupt theory on reconciliation and social change, and point to critical new directions in thinking and policy implementation.
As uitgesproke kommenatator wat voor en na 1994 met die regering gebots het, een van die Dakar-gangers wat al in die 1980s die ANC gaan ontmoet het en wereldkenner van die Afrikaners, is Giliomee ten nouste betrokke by ons land se geskiedenis – en hoe ons dit verstaan. Hier verweef hy sy eie lewensverhaal met die van die land en die mense wat hom fassineer in leesbare, narratiewe vorm, vol staaltjies en onvertelde verhale.
“We thank you for the inspiration and strength
That you have given to Madiba,
Enabling him, over so many years, to draw out the best in others,
rousing us always, by word and example,
to seek the highest good for every child of this nation.”
So prayed Archbishop Thabo Makgoba with Nelson Mandela in his home in 2009 at the request of Graca Machel. This marked the start of an unusual relationship between southern Africa’s Anglican leader and Mandela in his quietening years. Join Makgoba in his journey towards faith, from his boyhood in Alex as the son of a ZCC pastor to Bishopscourt and praying with Mandela. He shares his feelings about his pastoral approach to the world icon, and how they influenced his thinking on ministering to church and nation in the current era. What did praying with those nearest and dearest to Mandela mean? What was his spirituality? In trying to answer these questions, Makgoba opens a window on South Africa’s spiritual make-up and life.
Their love story was one of the greatest of our times.
Ruth Williams was a middle-class Londoner who loved ballroom dancing and ice skating when she met Seretse Khama. He was chief designate of the most powerful tribe in Bechuanaland, today Botswana, on the borders of apartheid South Africa. Their union sparked outrage, fear and anger. Ruth’s father barred her from their family home, she was hounded by the global media and shunned by white people in Seretse’s village of Serowe. The couple was humiliated, tricked and eventually exiled to England. But, despite all these tribulations, their love triumphed over the politics and prejudice of the time.
This is the story Ruth Khama told well-known journalist and author Sue Grant-Marshall ‒ the story of an extraordinary woman, who had the courage of her convictions in marrying the man she loved and accepting his country and people as her own.
Allegations of treason, real or imagined, always rankle. So much more when a life and death struggle of a nation is perceived to be at stake. Yet treason is common in warfare and accusations of sedition abound in any war.
While this book focuses specifically on the intricacies of alleged Afrikaner treason during a particularly volatile period, the analysis is also informed by an awareness of treason in the wider context.
#FeesMustFall, the student revolt that began in October 2015, was an uprising against lack of access to, and financial exclusion from, higher education in South Africa. More broadly, it radically questioned the socio-political dispensation resulting from the 1994 social pact between big business, the ruling elite and the liberation movement.
The 2015 revolt links to national and international youth struggles of the recent past and is informed by Black Consciousness politics and social movements of the international Left. Yet, its objectives are more complex than those of earlier struggles. The student movement has challenged the hierarchical, top-down leadership system of university management and it’s ‘double speak’ of professing to act in workers’ and students’ interests yet enforce a regressive system for control and governance. University managements, while one one level amenable to change, have also co-opted students into their ranks to create co-responsibility for the highly bureaucratised university financial aid that stand in the way of their social revolution.
This book maps the contours of student discontent a year after the start of the #FeesMustFall revolt. Student voices dissect coloniality, improper compromises by the founders of democratic South Africa, feminism, worker rights and meaningful education. In-depth assessments by prominent scholars reflect on the complexities of student activism, its impact on national and university governance, and offer provocative analyses of the power of the revolt.
When Johan Booysen hears that the new Provincial Police Chief takes backhanders from a Durban businessman, he decides to give her the benefit of the doubt. But the evidence becomes impossible to ignore and he soon gets dragged down the corridors of power and politics into a web of intrigue, deceit and betrayal that, at times, he has trouble making sense of.
Only when he is arrested, handcuffed and tossed into a cell does Booysen realise just how ruthless those opposed to him are – an opposition he comes to call the ‘cabal’ – and whom he believes have more blood on their hands than the so-called Cato Manor Death Squad with which he is closely associated.
Blood On Their Hands traces Johan Booysen’s life and career – from patrolling the streets of Amanzimtoti in the 1970s to his rise in 2010 to major general and head of KZN’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation unit, the Hawks. But his tenure is short-lived. When Booysen decides to take on those so determined to be rid of him, each legal battle he wins is met by hostility and further efforts to shut him out of the of the criminal justice system. But capitulating is not in his DNA…
The late Dr Ambrosini was an ltalian-American Constitutional Lawyer who arrived in South Africa on the cusp of South Africa’s Political Transition. He found himself drawn into the thick of constitutional negotiations, on behalf of the lFP, enabling him to play a significant role in shaping the country’s constitutional democracy.
Dr Ambrosini and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (The President of the INKATHA Freedom Party and Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation) formed an unexpectedly close friendship. He was a young foreign national with no experience of Zulu culture or African politics. Yet he became champion and adviser to a Zulu Prince; a descendent of King Mpande (brother to King Shaka), Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Nation, and political leader to some two million South Africans.
Ambrosini made South Africa his home, as he provided legal, policy and institutional advice to Prince Buthelezi, supporting him in his roles as Minister of Home Affairs, Acting President of South Africa, Leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, and traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation. Ambrosini’s extraordinary ability won him friends, and enemies, in very high places. Over the years he attracted numerous epithets, both in the media and intelligence reports; but in 2009 his adopted country embraced him fully, as he became a Member of the South African Parliament.
Tragically, it was from this position that he waged his final war. Ambrosini was diagnosed with final stage, inoperable lung cancer in April 2013.
A reissue of this classic title brought up to date and with a new introduction by Andrew Morton.
Reflecting on the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the original publication, and on the long-term legacy of Diana, the woman who helped reinvigorate the royal family, giving it a more emotional, human face, and thus helping it move forward into the 21st century.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NSRI, here is a collection of daring rescues filled with drama and danger. From burning ships to shark attacks, sinking trawlers to hallucinating fishermen, these are the stories of man’s constant battle with some of the most dangerous waters on earth. But there is one story in particular that gave rise to the creation of the NSRI...
On 12 April 1966, four fishing boats put out to sea from Stilbaai on South Africa’s southern coast. Soon they were all pulling in fish as fast as they could bait their hooks, and the boats were settling lower in the water. Shortly before sunset, skipper Gerhard Dreyer saw clouds building on the horizon. But the fishing was too good and they ignored the signs. Later that night a gale force wind slammed into them. ‘I told the men to throw everything overboard,’ Gerhard remembers. An hour before midnight, Gerhard headed for deeper water to try and ride out the swells. As dawn broke, they saw for the first time the true extent of the night’s damage: among the flotsam, one man in a lifebuoy. That man was the only crewman from the other three boats to survive the terrible storm. Seventeen men died that night.
Simonstown schoolteacher Patti Price was horrified when she read the news. She began a media campaign and appealed to the president of the Society of Master Mariners. As a direct result of her efforts, the South African Inshore Rescue Service was founded in August 1966 (renamed the National Sea Rescue Institute in 1967). Today, the NSRI has 35 rescue bases and over 1 000 volunteers.
"He either enchants or antagonizes everyone he meets. But even his enemies agree there are three things Ray Kroc does damned well: sell hamburgers, make money, and tell stories." --from Grinding It Out
Few entrepreneurs can claim to have radically changed the way we live, and Ray Kroc is one of them. His revolutions in food-service automation, franchising, shared national training, and advertising have earned him a place beside the men and women who have founded not only businesses, but entire empires. But even more interesting than Ray Kroc the business man is Ray Kroc the man. Not your typical self-made tycoon, Kroc was fifty-two years old when he opened his first franchise. In Grinding It Out, you'll meet the man behind McDonald's, one of the largest fast-food corporations in the world with over 32,000 stores around the globe.
Irrepressible enthusiast, intuitive people person, and born storyteller, Kroc will fascinate and inspire you on every page.
Ek blaai vinnig deur hierdie bladsye. Ouma se politieke spore is besaai met duwweltjies. ’n Deel van my wil-wil die swart dagboek toemaak. ’n Ander deel skop vas: Hoe eerlik is jy in jou poging om oupa Hendrik te verstaan?
Ná jare van versoeningswerk tussen eertydse vyande in Ierland keer Wilhelm Verwoerd terug na Suid-Afrika. Hy wil vrede maak met sy eie familie en sy geskiedenis. In die Verwoerd-strandhuis, Blaas ’n Bietjie, waar hy sit en skryf, hang ’n gesinsfoto waarop sy oupa, HF Verwoerd, hom as baba teer vashou. Hoe versoen hy dié menslike oupa met die gehate onderdrukker wat in die stories van sy swart bure en kennisse na vore kom, mense wat as kinders in die strate gedans het toe sy oupa vermoor is?
In sy soektog na begrip kom Wilhelm op ouma Betsie Verwoerd se private dagboeke af en voer hy soms ongemaklike gesprekke met mense wat sy van as vloekwoord onthou. So ontvou ’n geskakeerde blik op wat dit beteken om vandag met integriteit in Suid-Afrika te leef.
“Diepsinnig … Wilhelm Verwoerd ondersoek die veelkantigheid van verantwoording in families in hierdie belangrike en menslike memoir.” – Martie Retief Meiring
In this fresh and highly readable collection of South African biographical essays, a distinguished group of authors illuminates the lives of eleven colourful, complex men and women whose personal experiences throw fascinating light on the times in which they lived.
The individuals whose stories are told here are very different in time, in place and in work and at play, but are united by an abundantly rich humanity and the myriad ways in which they navigated their existence through the uneven terrain of South Africa's distant and more recent past. Including colonial administrators, activists, educationists, sportsmen, a poet, a painter and a pilot, Illuminating Lives is a wide-ranging and moving book that provides readers with striking and unexpected insights into our history.
Here are some intriguing South African lives well worth knowing about.
Once an enemy of the apartheid police, Andrew Brown has worked as a police reservist for almost twenty years. In this book he takes the reader on patrol with him – into the ganglands of the Cape Flats, the townships of Masiphumelele and Nyanga, and the high-walled Southern Suburbs.
Good Cop, Bad Cop is a personal account of the perilous and often conflicting work of a SAPS officer. Brown describes being shot at, arresting suspects in a drug bust, chasing down leads in a homicide investigation and keeping the peace during the UCT student protests. Brown illustrates how difficult the job of the police is, and how easy it is to react with undue force. Yet he argues passionately that the role of the police is to be a service to communities and not a force to suppress social discontent.
Gripping and thought-provoking, this is a fascinating insight into the social fabric of current South Africa.
The demise of apartheid was one of the great achievements of postwar history, sought after and celebrated by a progressive global community. Looking at these events from the other side, An African Volk explores how the apartheid state strove to maintain power as the world of white empire gave way to a post-colonial environment that repudiated racial hierarchy.
Drawing upon archival research across Southern Africa and beyond, as well as interviews with leaders of the apartheid order, Jamie Miller shows how the white power structure attempted to turn the new political climate to its advantage. Instead of simply resisting decolonization and African nationalism in the name of white supremacy, the regime looked to co-opt and invert the norms of the new global era to promote a fresh ideological basis for its rule. It adapted discourses of nativist identity, African anti-colonialism, economic development, anti-communism, and state sovereignty to rearticulate what it meant to be African. An African Volk details both the global and local repercussions.
At the dawn of the 1970s, the apartheid state reached out eagerly to independent Africa in an effort to reject the mantle of colonialism and redefine the white polity as a full part of the post-colonial world. This outreach both reflected and fuelled heated debates within white society, exposing a deeply divided polity in the midst of profound economic, cultural, and social change. Situated at the nexus of African, decolonization, and Cold War history, An African Volk takes readers into the corridors of white power to detail the apartheid regime's campaign to break out of isolation and secure global acceptance.
The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF’s targeted killing programs, hailed by The New York Times as “an exceptional work, a humane book about an incendiary subject.”
The Talmud says: “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel’s DNA. From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services, and there is one weapon in their vast arsenal that they have relied upon to thwart the most serious threats: Targeted assassinations have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes preemptively.
In this page-turning, eye-opening book, journalist and military analyst Ronen Bergman—praised by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel’s] best investigative reporter”—offers a riveting inside account of the targeted killing programs: their successes, their failures, and the moral and political price exacted on the men and women who approved and carried out the missions.
Bergman has gained the exceedingly rare cooperation of many current and former members of the Israeli government, including Prime Ministers Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as high-level figures in the country’s military and intelligence services: the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), the Mossad (the world’s most feared intelligence agency), Caesarea (a “Mossad within the Mossad” that carries out attacks on the highest-value targets), and the Shin Bet (an internal security service that implemented the largest targeted assassination campaign ever, in order to stop what had once appeared to be unstoppable: suicide terrorism).
Including never-before-reported, behind-the-curtain accounts of key operations, and based on hundreds of on-the-record interviews and thousands of files to which Bergman has gotten exclusive access over his decades of reporting, Rise and Kill First brings us deep into the heart of Israel’s most secret activities. Bergman traces, from statehood to the present, the gripping events and thorny ethical questions underlying Israel’s targeted killing campaign, which has shaped the Israeli nation, the Middle East, and the entire world.
Africa's leading producer of electricity, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, is also a vertically integrated monopoly, owned by the South African state. This national champion was shaken in 2008, when it was obliged to introduce 'load shedding', or rolling blackouts, and again in late 2014. Trying to understand how and why one of the iconic pillars of South African state capitalism is now in distress, the authors of this book argue that the so-called electricity crisis is in fact a public monopoly crisis.
Moving beyond technical aspects, they explore the relationship between state power and Eskom before, during and after apartheid. From this perspective, they suggest that the current technical and financial troubles of this public utility are illustrative of the weakening of its technopolitical regime, of how national institutions have governed Eskom's technological development, and of the pursuit of political goals in the production of electrical power. Without a clear industrial strategy during the 2000s, Eskom became a powerful tool of Broad-Black Economic Empowerment as well as a neopatrimonial system which generates profits captured by the ruling party. As a result, crisis in Eskom shakes the whole political edifice. Inefficient and its finances increasingly under scrutiny, this state-owned enterprise's existence as a monopolistic public utility is regularly a subject of debate.
The authors discuss the ambivalent role of Eskom in the national energy transition policy and whether solutions point in the direction of de-integrating this public monopoly and allowing its current technopolitical regime to enter a planned or natural decline.
South Africa is a country rich in pathways, tracks and roads – both tar and gravel. It is also a country of wonderful stories, blessed with a varied, colourful and contested history.
For more than a year veteran journalist Luke Alfred walked South Africa’s roads through cities, countryside and everything in between.
Early One Sunday Morning I Decided to Step Out and Find South Africa tells the stories of some of the country’s most interesting and sometimes forgotten places.
Two tales of a city: The historical race to reach one of the world's most mythologized places, and the story of how a contemporary band of archivists and librarians, fighting to save its ancient manuscripts from destruction at the hands of al Qaeda, added another layer to the legend.
To Westerners, the name "Timbuktu" long conjured a tantalising paradise, an African El Dorado where even the slaves wore gold. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, a series of explorers gripped by the fever for "discovery" tried repeatedly to reach the fabled city. But one expedition after another went disastrously awry, succumbing to attack, the climate, and disease. Timbuktu was rich in another way too. A medieval centre of learning, it was home to tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts, on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology, and astronomy. When al-Qaeda-linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, threatening the existence of these precious documents, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding.
Relying on extensive research and firsthand reporting, Charlie English expertly twines these two suspenseful strands into a fascinating account of one of the planet's extraordinary places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.
In die jare 1891 tot 1893 het ongeveer 770 persone Transvaal verlaat en na Angola en Duits-Suidwes-Afrika getrek om hulle heil daar te soek. Dit staan bekend as die “sesde” Dorslandtrek.
Sowat 45 De Jagers het in verskillende groepe aan hierdie epiese trek deelgeneem. Ná die sesde Dorslandtrek het hulle tussen Angola, Suidwes-Afrika, Suid-Afrika en selfs Kenia rondgeswerf en verdere avonture oor die hele Suider-Afrika beleef. Sommige De Jagers het in 1928 van Angola na Suidwes-Afrika getrek en hulle daar gevestig, terwyl ander eers in 1958 uit Angola gerepatrieer is.
Uit die beperkte beskikbare bronne is die verskillende trekroetes van die sesde Dorslandtrek gerekonstrueer en vir die eerste keer word ’n kaart van die verskillende trekroetes gepubliseer. ’n Geslagregister van bykans 1800 afstammelinge en aangetroude familielede van die De Jagers van die sesde Dorslandtrek en byna 500 foto’s vorm ’n omvattende beeld van hierdie familiegeskiedenis.
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